Titleist has had incredible success in recent years with its fairway woods and hybrids thanks in large part to the extensive customization options that it provides players to help them maximize performance and hit the types of shots they want to hit. To help you pick the right Titleist fairway or hybrid for your game, TGW has exclusive interviews with product experts, detailed product information, and comprehensive reviews from players like you based on their consumer testing experiences to give you everything you need to make a great choice. And you can view all our golf club reviews and more exclusive stories at the TGW Golf Guide.
New 818 hybrids offering even more in the way of distance and customization
Customer Review of 818 Hybrids
-- Josh Talge, Titleist’s Vice President of Marketing for Golf Clubs
When it comes to hybrids, Titleist has a strong, unwavering take about how they should be viewed and how they should perform.
“We define hybrids as scoring clubs, not rescue clubs,” said Josh Talge, Titleist’s Vice President of Marketing for Golf Clubs. “And that’s how our R&D group has been designing these clubs for years.”
Of course, in golf, when it comes to scoring, precision is king. And for that reason, Titleist has made it a priority to create hybrids that feature industry-leading customization.
That was a key component in the success of Titleist’s 816 hybrids, and the personalization features have only been enhanced in the new 818 hybrids.
“We’re really excited about the 818 H1 and H2 hybrids,” Talge said. “They’re the best hybrids we’ve ever made, and we’ve had the No. 1 hybrid on the PGA Tour for the last two or three years."
“There’s really no one else that’s offering this level of customization and playability in hybrids, and these are our longest and most forgiving hybrids yet.”
From a customization standpoint, Titleist is again offering its SureFit hosel, which allows for 16 different settings and enables players to independently adjust loft and lie to achieve what they’re looking for in terms of distance and ball flight.
Additionally, Titleist has now incorporated SureFit CG Technology, which has been tremendously successful in the company’s 917 drivers and fairway woods, into the 818 hybrid design. The result is that players can choose how to position a weight cartridge in the clubhead to better control their spin rate for optimal performance, as well as create the exact shot shape bias that they prefer.
In consumer testing conducted by TGW, the SureFit CG proved to be a popular and valuable new feature.
“The SureFit CG gives you the ability to, on different golf courses, work balls right to left, left to right,” said Jay, a +4 handicapper. “It gives you that opportunity to hit it higher, lower, and it makes it easier to hit it different directions.”
Also new for the 818 hybrids is a modified Active Recoil Channel, which through an improved design and more flexible polymer insert is creating faster ball speeds for more distance.
That distance, however, has not come at the expense of forgiveness. The 818 hybrids have a lower, deeper CG position than their 816 counterparts, with the result being an MOI increase of roughly 10 percent, which provides more stability at impact and improved results on mis-hits.
“The amount of technology we’ve engineered into 818 is unprecedented for the hybrid category and will give golfers at every level the confidence to take dead aim from distances they never have before,” Talge said.
One thing that hasn’t changed with the 818 hybrids when compared to the 816 models are the player types and swing characteristics that the H1 and H2 were designed to fit.
The H1 model has a larger profile and was designed for players who tend to sweep the ball off of the turf in the same manner that they would typically hit a fairway wood.
The H2, meanwhile, was designed for more aggressive swingers who tend to hit down on the ball with a steeper angle of attack, much as they would when hitting an iron. That being the case, the H2 features a slight offset design, and the 818 H2 not only has a much smaller profile than the 818 H1 but it’s also significantly smaller than the 816 H2.
For the TGW customers who tested the 818 hybrids, they found that the two different models worked as intended for the type of player each was designed for.
“My preference would be for the H1,” said J.R., who plays to a 3-handicap. “I’m more of a sweeper, so I like that look and the appearance at address. The less offset on the H1 was something I really noticed. The launch angles were just incredible. You could get excited about hitting these into a green.”
Added Jay: “The H2, I was a big fan of this one. I love hitting longer irons. I kind of have that digging motion so this was perfect for me. The feel was fantastic and the performance was super consistent. And I could tell there was a little upgrade from the 816 as far as speed coming off the clubface.”
Titleist’s new 818 H1 hybrids are available in standard lofts of 19, 21, 23, 25, and 27 degrees, while the H2 models are available in standard lofts of 17, 19, 21, and 23 degrees.
In terms of stock shafts, Titleist is offering new options from Mitsubishi in the Tensei Red, Blue, and White, as well as no upcharge, premium offerings Fujikura and Project X. The stock grip, meanwhile, for both the H1 and the H2 will be the Golf Pride Tour Velvet.
TGW Review of 818 Hybrids
Shaft Options For Titleist 818 Hybrids
Titleist 917 Fairway Customer Feedback
Titleist 917 Fairway Fitting
Titleist 917 F2 AND F3 Fairway Woods
It’s not just 917 drivers that are creating plenty of buzz for Titleist, as 917 fairway woods also have been met with high praise by the players who have had the chance to hit them.
Most notable among that group might be the touring professionals on Titleist’s staff, who almost universally adopted 917 fairway woods without hesitation as soon as they became available.
In addition to delivering improved playability in terms of spin rates, launch angles, and forgiveness, 917 fairway woods also feature more customization options than any previous Titleist fairway wood.
That combination is likely to land 917 fairways in the bags of a wide array of players and why we wanted to give you a more detailed look at what you need to know about these clubs and what you can expect from a performance standpoint.
Titleist 917 Fairway
One thing that Titleist fans will notice right away about the 917 fairway woods is a slight name change.
For its most recent releases, Titleist used F and Fd to differentiate between its two fairway models. The two 917 fairway options, however, have been renamed F2 and F3 to better align with the company’s driver nomenclature.
As one might expect based on the new names, from a playability standpoint, the F2 is more similar to the D2 driver, while the F3 shares more common performance attributes with the D3.
“When you look at the F2, you’ve got a little bit wider of a sole,” said Josh Talge, Vice President of Marketing for Titleist Golf Clubs. “You’re looking at a 179cc head; it’s got a profile that’s a little bit wider. We wanted to make sure it looks forgiving. We want to give you that confidence as you set up to that ball.”
In terms of the smaller F3, Talge added, “this is a player who’s probably going to hit it off the tee 50 percent of the time, so we gave them a deeper face. We gave them the ability to really kind of work the ball a little bit more than (with) the F2. It’s going to be a couple of hundred RPM less spin.”
In terms of loft options, the F3 is only available as a 3-wood or strong 3-wood in lofts of 13.5 and 15 degrees, while the F2 is available in lofts of 13.5, 15, 16.5, 18, and 21 degrees, with the 13.5- and 21-degree only offered in right-handed versions. Ladies models of the F2 are also offered at a shorter stock length and with lighter stock shaft options.
Also of note, as is the case with the 917 drivers, a new color is being utilized in the 917 fairway woods, as a dark grey finish has replaced the glossy black finish that was utilized in the 915, 913, and 910 series fairways.
From a technological standpoint, there are a number of similarities between the 917 drivers and fairways woods, and that starts with the innovative SureFit CG, which gives players the ability to alter center of gravity to create their ideal flight conditions.
“When you combine SureFit CG along with our SureFit Hosel system, we’re able to really help you get that ball on the line that you want,” Talge said. “We can take misses out of play for you, and really deliver the type of performance that you’re going to enjoy.”
In terms of how SureFit CG works, what could best be described as a weight cartridge is utilized in a chamber that runs through the clubhead almost parallel to the clubface. Players can utilize a neutral weight in the chamber or they have the option of using a weight that will create either a draw or fade bias, which can manipulate curvature by roughly six yards, according to Titleist.
In the 917 driver, the standard SureFit CG weight is 12 grams, but a 14-gram weight is utilized in the fairway woods. For those who want to create a fade bias, they can utilize the heavier end of the 14-gram weight in a forward, toe position, while utilizing the heavier end of the weight in a back, heel position will adversely create a draw bias.
While the SureFit CG will have some effect on spin rates, where it has its biggest influence is in terms of helping players shape shots more easily or eliminate a miss.
Titleist also offers other weight options to help players adjust swing weight as necessary, but 14-gram weights in neutral and fade/draw options are what come standard with the 917 fairway woods.
ACTIVE RECOIL CHANNEL 2.0 AND VARIABLE THICKNESS FACE INSERT
Also similar to the 917 drivers from a technological standpoint is the use of Titleist’s highly successful Active Recoil Channel.
The new Recoil channel being utilized in the 917 fairway woods has been reshaped slightly and utilizes an elastomer insert that reduces spin and creates faster ball speeds.
Working in unison with the Recoil Channel is a Variable Thickness Face Insert, which makes higher ball speeds on mishits possible, increasing the overall forgiveness of the 917 fairway woods.
The 917 fairway woods also feature lower centers of gravity, which helps improve launch angles and provides increased stability at impact for better performance on mis-hits.
All told, Titleist has seen tremendous improvement in performance compared to the 915 fairway woods during fitting sessions with players of all ability levels.
“We’ve seen ball speed increases at a minimum of one mile an hour; we’ve seen as high as five. You’re going to see more ball speed come off the face,” said Glenn Mahler, Fitting Supervisor at the Titleist Performance Institute. “We’re seeing launches go up because that center of gravity has gone down. The spins, again, are reduced by about 200 RPM, (and) the moment of inertia’s increased.”
Also back in play with the 917 fairway woods is Titleist’s SureFit Hosel system, which has been highly effective for Titleist by allowing golfers to independently adjust loft and lie. And that’s an important part of the equation when it comes to achieving preferred ball flight and trajectory.
To elaborate, with some adjustable hosels, loft changes that are made automatically create lie angle changes, and that will influence ball flight. More specifically, flatter lie angles will most typically create fade bias and upright lie angles will create draw bias.
Working in unison with the Recoil Channel is a Variable Thickness Face Insert, which makes higher ball speeds on mishits possible, increasing the overall forgiveness of the 917 fairway woods.
That said, being able to adjust loft and lie independently is a huge advantage. For example, if you’re someone who fights a hook, you don’t want to be unable to make a needed loft change to your fairway wood because it creates a more upright lie angle. In a situation like that, your customization options are actually limited based on your needs.
That makes Titleist’s SureFit hosel a huge benefit in helping players get the exact flight conditions they want, both in terms of curvature and trajectory.
One of the most important components when it comes to fairway wood performance, or any club for that matter, is having the right shaft, and Titleist is giving its players plenty of great stock options in the 917 fairway woods.
In fact, the fairway wood options mirror what’s being offered in 917 drivers, albeit in heavier weights, which is common as it relates to the differences between driver and fairway shafts.
Titleist players will immediately recognize the inclusion of the popular Mitsubishi Diamana line, a long-time favorite on Tour and a staple in the Titleist metalwood lineup for years.
Three Diamana options exist in the White, Blue, and Red Limited Plus models, all of which have different profiles to fit a wide range of players.
The White is designed to create low launch and low spin, which is great for players with higher swing speeds, and it’s the heaviest of the three Diamana models at 83 or 86 grams depending on flex.
The Blue, known for its smooth feel, is more of a mid-launch, mid-spin shaft and weighs 67 or 71 grams depending on flex. It’s a great option for players with more modest swing speeds who are looking to maximize their carry distances.
The Red, meanwhile, also has a smooth feel, as well as an active kick at impact. It is offered as a stock option in the F2 models for men and women and is the lightest of the three Diamana choices, checking in at a range of 50-56 degrees. It will produce high launch conditions and work well for players with slower swing speeds.
A couple of new options are also part of the 917 fairway shaft lineup: the Fujikura Speeder Pro TS 84 and the Aldila Rogue Max 75. Both are low-to-mid launching shafts, with the Speeder, at a weight in the high 80s, weighing 13 grams more than the Max..
“We pick what we refer to as ‘real-deal’ shafts,Talge said. “These are one hundred percent aftermarket shafts. We partner directly with these vendors to make sure that’s what you’re getting, the same shaft you would get if you went somewhere else.”
Titleist also offers other custom options as well for players in need of a different fit.
Titleist 915F and 915FD Fairway Woods
TGW Customer Feedback on the Titleist 915 F and Fd Fairways“When we were hitting the hybrids, I liked the smaller head on the hybrid. But I think I like the other way around in the 3-wood. I liked the F better. I felt like I could still hit that well off the deck, even though it was a bigger head. I think I got a little more distance off the tee with the F as well. I could put that in my bag today and feel like my game would get better.”
-- TGW customer Jordan, 7 handicap
“I liked them both but I liked the Fd just a little bit more. The little bit smaller head just made it way more comfortable to hit off the deck. How much pop it has off the face was unreal; it just crushes. I’d definitely be in the market to look at one of these.”
-- TGW customer Miles, 8 handicap
In designing the 915 series of fairway woods, increased distance and added forgiveness were the top goals for Titleist’s engineers, and those goals have been accomplished in multiple ways in both the 915F and 915Fd. For starters, the Active Recoil Channel in each model has been positioned more forward to create faster ball speeds and reduce spin, a combination that generates more distance. Additionally, a low center of gravity increases stability while maintaining faster ball speeds, and a high speed face insert and thin clubface promote high ball speeds from impact points across the face. Players also have 16 different loft and lie combinations to help them achieve what they’re looking for in terms of performance, as well as trajectory and ball flight. It should be noted, however, that neither model features a draw or fade bias in its neutral setup position.
There are some slight differences between the F and the Fd, however. The F at 175cc has a slightly larger profile than its 160cc counterpart, the Fd. The larger clubhead was designed to promote more confidence for players from the fairway and off a tee, and the 915F will also produce a slightly higher ball flight. The Fd’s smaller profile was designed to offer maximum versatility and workability, especially from the fairway, and players can expect it to produce less spin and a more penetrating ball flight. Both models come in lofts of 13.5, 15 and 18 degrees, while the 915F is also available in 16.5 and 21 degrees, and multiple premium shaft options are offered at no upcharge.
816H1 and 816H2 Hybrid Golf Clubs
TGW Customer Feedback on the Titleist 816 H1 and H2 Hybrids“My preference was the H2. When I have a hybrid in the bag, I like it to be very versatile. I do like the sweeping feel (of the the H1) off the tee, but sometimes hitting those knockdown shots, having that little bit more of an iron feeling is great.”
-- TGW customer Jay, +4 handicap
“Hybrids and I typically don’t get along very well, and I’ve opted to keep long irons in the bag instead. But the H1 has me considering a switch. I couldn’t have been more impressed with how easy it was to hit, how consistent the ball flight was, and how easy it was to control trajectory. And best of all, it was equally good off the fairway or a tee.”
-- TGW customer Chris, 2 handicap
With its new 816 hybrid line, Titleist has created two unique offerings in the H1 and H2 that are impressive from a technology standpoint but even more impressive from a playability standpoint, as the two designs and their customization options will make these clubs a great choice for any player.
On the technology side, both the H1 and H2 feature Active Recoil Channels and thin clubfaces. The result is a face that flexes more at impact for faster ball speeds and lower spin, yet ball speeds will remain high even on shots that are struck off the heel or toe. The H1 and H2 are also high MOI designs, which contributes to added forgiveness on mis-hits. Also of note, each model features a relieved leading edge that along with the Recoil Channel improves turf interaction. Additionally, Titleist’s SureFit Tour hosel allows for independent loft and lie adjustment on each model to give players the ability to dial in these clubs as it relates to specific yardages and a preferred shot shape. In one degree increments, the H1 and H2 can be lofted down one degree or up two degrees, and the lie angle can be played from one degree flat to two degrees upright, the latter of which will create a draw bias.
Where the H1 and H2 differ is in playability and who they’ll work best for. The H1 features a larger overall profile and a face progression much like what’s typically seen in a fairway wood. This model is ideal for someone who sweeps the ball off the turf. The H2, on the other hand, has a more compact profile and was designed for more aggressive players with steeper angles of attack who use their hybrids more like an iron. As such, it features a slight offset to help promote better turf engagement. Also noteworthy is that the H1 was designed to create a little bit more spin than the H2, which will make it a good choice for players with more moderate swing speeds, as they’ll be able to keep the ball in the air longer for maximum distance and stopping power on the green. Both models come in lofts of 19, 21, 23, and 25 degrees, while the 816H1 is also available at 27 degrees. Multiple premium shaft options are available at no upcharge.